The Ultimate Road Trip: Accelerating towards Family Fun!
Buckle up, parents, because we’re about to embark on the wildest adventure of all — the family road trip!
Going on a family road trip can be both exciting and daunting. It's a chance to create unforgettable memories with your loved ones, but it also requires a lot of planning and preparation.
I’m here to share some tips, activities, and fun ideas to make your family road trip an unforgettable experience.
Whether you're traveling across the country or just taking a short weekend getaway, I’ve got you covered. So, pack your bags, buckle up, and get ready for an adventure.
Check your Blind Spots!
Are you hemming and hawing over the long drive ahead, or are you embracing it as part of the adventure? Let's dig a little deeper with these coaching questions & get you in the right mindset for your adventure.
What's the vibe you're sending?
How are you portraying the drive to your family? Is it a chore? A means to an end? Or rather, is it an adventure? Is this where your holiday begins?
Kids are so intuitive and pick up on whatever you're putting down. So, why not set the tone for positivity? Let them know how you're looking forward to this stretch of the trip. Which leads me to…
Can you view the challenge as an opportunity?
I get it. It's a long time in the car with little people who will have many needs, be bored, need to stop for bathroom breaks & holler ‘are we there yet’ an endless amount of times.
it's also a time that you will have a captive audience and a chance to connect. How can you use this as an opportunity to:
If I'm being real here, this is the hardest part of a road trip for me. There are so many things OUT of our control -- traffic & how everyone else will act while in the car for starters!
I find it helpful to know what I can control -- like having good snacks, an even better playlist, being comfortable…AND …controlling my perception & how I respond to problems and things out of my control! There's a good chance those tough moments will turn into fun family ”Do you remember the time…” stories you will all laugh and bond over someday.
Roadblock Safety Concerns! 🛑
It’s always a good idea to be proactive and prepared for any potential issues.
Tune Up your Car — Give your car a once over before hitting the road! Check your tires, brakes, windshield wipers & fluids. Pack a tire gauge, tire lock key, fix a flat, and portable battery pack. Don’t forget your important documents like registration/insurance.
Pack a Hygiene Kit - First Aid Kit, wipes, ziploc bags (for soiled clothes or messes that need containing!), hand sanitizer, small shopping bags (for garbage and/or car sickness), travel mouthwash, tide stick, anti-nausea meds and eye moisturizing drops (for contact lens wearers like me!)
Check the weather…for your entire route! The weather may be very different on the way to your destination. Be prepared for any rain/storms anticipated along the way. This could give you time to plan an alternate route or take a food break while the storm passes.
Rest stop hack - When nature calls, consider stopping at a hotel to use their public facilities. The bathrooms are always cleaner than a highway rest stop and rarely busy (and a little safer!). Bonus → There are usually shops nearby for coffee and snacks!
Know your route - Plan ahead to know when & where to take rest stops. You can use apps like roadtrippers or playgroundbuddy to find an area that has some sightseeing or space for a good stretch of the legs.
Cruisin’ for a Wheely Good Time!
Pack a Bag - Have your kids fill a backpack with their own (non-messy!) must haves. Items like crayons, paper, writing tablet, activity/sticker books, wikkistix, a favorite book, and a lovie that can double as a pillow.
What are you listening to? Put together a killer playlist, find a great family audiobook or podcast, we’ve even listened to clean comedians (like Jim Gaffigan) during our drives. It keeps everyone engaged, singing & laughing.
ABC’s of Your Trip - Label a paper A - Z. As you ride along, try to notice something to represent each letter. (ambulance, boat, car wash, etc) You can play this individually, competitively or as a family. For another way to play - on your drive home, create a list from A to Z of vacation memories! Have your kids make pictures to match the memory and make a photo book of it!
More Activities - There are so many classic games to play in the car. You can download my Road Trip Bingo here. I also love so many of the Melissa & Doug games. They have so many great car activities like the license plate game, hangman and scratch art. You can have your kids track your travels on GoogleMaps. And lastly, check with your local library for apps like Hoopla for streaming e-books, audio and videos.
And, that wraps it up, fearless road warriors!
I hope these tips and tricks have filled your toolkit with all the essentials for an epic family road trip adventure! Buckle up, stay alert and let the laughter fuel your journey.
Rebecca Murphy, Certified PCI® Parent Coach.